Kindertransport  
Kindertransport

by Diane Samuels

Directed by Angharad Ormond

Evenings at 7.30
Tuesday 4th - Saturday 8th April
Matinée at 3.00
Saturday 8th April

The Tower Theatre performing at Theatro Technis, Camden

There will be a Q and A session after the show on Thursday April 6th.
The director and cast will be joined by Ernest Simon.




His first day at school

 


Ernest Simon was put on a train at midnight on 11th January 1939 at the Wiener Westbahnhof, bound for England. His parents had no idea whether they would ever see him again.

Born in 1930 in Austria, he came to England in 1939 on a Kindertransport, a children's transport, and went to live with foster parents in Leeds. He will talk of his personal experiences on the Kindertransport which succeeded in saving the lives of nearly 10,000 Jewish children escaping the Nazi Holocaust in 1938-39. His talk will cover his own story, but will also deal with the origins of the Kindertransport movement and the important role played by the Quakers in ensuring its success.

After many years of working for ICI, mostly in Continental Europe, Ernest now lives in Pinner, in North London. His interests are golf, Holocaust education in schools, and travel.



"The Kindertransport was at the centre of many episodes, which all together added up to one huge destabilising, alienating and ongoing trauma. All Jewish children in Vienna, like myself at the age of ten, were deeply aware of the terror, fear and humiliation which was all around us. And also continuously heard our parents talking about who had been sent to Buchenwald or Dachau concentration camps ... The actual Kindertransport journey filled me with apprehension as well as anxiety for my mother, who, now all alone, was left behind in hostile Vienna. My brother, at his second attempt, had managed to reach Palestine on a clandestine immigrant ship. Well, in my case my mother did make it to London, to her housekeeper job, before the outbreak of war - in fact by just a few days. And, yes, we were all lucky; but everything in life is at price." - Edward Mendelsohn


Set against the backdrop of the holocaust and the transportation of thousands of Jewish children, Kindertransport deals with the fragile but resilient bond between mothers and daughters. Based on real experiences, it explores identity and the cost of survival.

Diane Samuels' play is a modern classic about one woman's struggle to come to terms with her past.

Brutally separated from her German Jewish parents and brought to England with the promise of a new life, nine-year-old Eva ends up in Manchester. When Eva's parents fail to escape Germany, the child changes her name and begins the process of denial of her roots. It is only when her own daughter discovers some letters in their attic that Eva is forced to confront the truth about the past.
 

"Samuels has written the best play about the pain and passion of mother/daughter relationships."
Lynn Gardner, The Guardian

"... an extraordinarily skilful and compassionate piece which hauntingly juxtaposes past and present to show the effects of the Holocaust on one family through three generations ..."
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
Photography by Robert Piwko
 

Cast List

Eva : Katrin Larissa Kasper
Helga : Clare Joseph
Evelyn : Ruth Sullivan
Faith : Poppy Lowles
Lil : Amanda Waggott
Ratcatcher / Guard / Officer / Postman : Paul Willcocks

 

Production Team

Director : Angharad Ormond
Set Design : Kam Bava
Costume Design : Kathleen Morrison
Lighting Design : Rob Irvine
Sound Design : Colin Guthrie
Stage Manager : Laurence Tuerk
Assistant Director : Philippa Rowe





Katrin Larissa Kasper is a new member of the Tower Theatre Company. She trained at Portland State in Oregon and moved to London a year ago. Previous stage credits include In Toxic (Esther), Travelling Light (Anna) and the musical Krabat (Juro). She is also working as a freelance journalist. Being part of this production is especially meaningful to her as she is originally from Germany.
 
Clare Joseph grew up in London and she has a degree in English Literature. She trained at The Poor School. Favourite roles include Doris in Flare Path, Valerie in Road for the Tower and Rosencrantz in Hamlet. She is about to play a younger Daphne Selfe alongside the iconic model. Working on Kindertransport has been interesting and moving; she hopes that she and the cast will do justice to the material and to the memories of those who inspired the play.
Ruth Sullivan's work with the Tower includes : as an actor - Frozen, Seasons Greetings, Speaking in Tongues, Brighton Beach Scumbags, The Real Thing and David Copperfield; as a director - Macbeth, The Maids, The Mystery of Edwin Drood!, The Last Five Years and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; and as a choreographer - Putting It Together and The Fabulous Eddie and Otis Soul Revue. She also choreographed Hair and Assassins for SEDOS and Jesus Christ Superstar for Centre Stage. As a Foley Artist, film & TV credits include Rillington Place, Enigma, Sylvia, Death of Stalin, Eyes Wide Shut, Troy, Le Weekend, Mamma Mia!, Downton Abbey and Dickensian. Her live theatre Foley credits include Complicite's The Magic Flute, the Royal Danish Theatre's Cabaret, Hull's WOW Festival for a special performance of To Hull and Back as well as several projects for Katie Mitchell, and she is Foley Consultant for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Chester's brand new theatre The Storyhouse, which opens in June.
 
Poppy Lowles is very happy to be making her Tower Theatre Company debut in Kindertransport, having joined this January after seeing the Tower Theatre in action at Stratford-upon-Avon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Poppy appeared in A Midsummer Night's Dream herself as Helena and then Hermia, Orsino in Twelfth Night, the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Patty Simcox in Grease, Serena Katz in Fame and the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Poppy has trained with the National Youth Theatre, and performed at the Hackney Empire with them, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. She left Wales for London to work in the West End, but is happy to be swapping ice-cream selling to join this wonderful, inclusive, creative company.
Lil in Kindertransport is Amanda Waggott's first acting role with the Tower. Last year she was the assistant director on Brontë - another great Tower production. Amanda trained at Goldsmiths (MA Theatre), Drama Studio London and the National Youth Theatre. She works as a writer, teacher and performer.
 
Paul Willcocks has been a professional actor in a wide range of productions including No Flies On Mr Hunter directed by Janet Suzman, The Fiery Angel at the Royal Opera House directed by David Freeman and, for the screen, Funny Bones, directed by Peter Chelsom. He played Caliban in The Sea and The Mirror at the Edinburgh Festival and subsequently toured his interpretation in a one-man show. He played a variety of Elizabethan and Jacobean roles for Sam Shammas Productions and, for British Stage Productions, created the Unicycling Marvel that was Breakfast the Clown! More recently he has appeared in The Human Comedy at the Young Vic and, for the Tower Theatre, portrayed Branwell in Bronte Upstairs at the Gatehouse last July. Paul is delighted to be back with the Tower Theatre this year for Kindertransport.
Angharad Ormond has been with the Tower Theatre Company for two years and has been seen on stage as Laura in The Priory, Nell in Little Nell, Daphne in Sailor, Beware! and most recently as Cathy Jackson in the summer's hit musical The Return of the Marionettes. She trained at Drama Studio London and other roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Polly Peachum in The Threepenny Opera. Angharad's directing credits include The Trial and Blue Remembered Hills. Kindertransport marks her directional debut for the Tower Theatre. Angharad is also training as a Clinical Psychologist, which proves valuable when observing the pains of human nature.